FRAGMENTS : Ksenia Tokmakova and Marinika Sadgyan Explore Italian Memories at Numeroventi, Florence
Exploring the nature-infused history of palazzo Galli Tassi, resident artists Ksenia Tokmakova and Marinika Sadgyan trace back to its past to create a spatial installation that coexists with the environment and emotionally expands the space. In the place of cultural exchange, they offer the viewer to pause for a moment and experience an immediate intimacy between oneself and the tensile structure as a tribute to the “100 herbs syrup” invention by the former owner of the palazzo - Girolamo Pagliano. In this evocative piece, time permeates the space and the visitors take a sensual journey between past and present. The two installations, though visually different, create a dialogue between each other and reflect on the power of nature to give and to take away.
Paper Memories is a tactile installation that takes viewers back to the scenes of the devastating flood in Florence that started on November, the 4th, 1966. Located alongside the Arno and in the epicentre of the flood, the National Central Library suffered significant losses, among them, irreplaceable texts that are gone forever.
The residency at Numeroventi in Florence gave Marinika Sadgyan and Ksenia Tokmakova a chance to get familiar with the still ongoing processes of book restoration at the Conservation. Based on their research with the Conservation and study of archival photographs, the artists reimagine the atmosphere of this catastrophe. As a first tentative effort to save precious materials, the volunteers who came to Florence invented spontaneous structures to dry pages of the flooded books.
Marinika and Ksenia recreate one of such structures in order to reconstruct the experience for themselves. Combining the techniques of contemporary art and journalism, the artists offer the visitors a glimpse into this fragment of the history of Florence and encourage an interest to the invaluable effort made to preserve the heritage.
Exhibition images by Marina Denisova
Portrait by Daniel Civetta
All images courtesy of Numeroventi